top of page

Hot Off The Press: Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize Announces New Judges and Early Buyers

In line with the #UNITETogether movement and our overall vision at ROQ.US -- where we envision a greener planet and garment decorating industry (both literally and figuratively) where ROQ machines are used to build a movement of innovative communities who create amazing products, generate monumental economic gain, and have tons of fun doing it -- it is our great privilege to be a part of and support such a worthy cause brought to us from our friends Lonely Whale & Tom Ford. We invite you to read the press release below and join us in the effort.

Special congrats and recognition for ROQ.US Purchasing Director Andy Johnson for being added to the Technical Advisory Board!

October 12th, 2021 – TOM FORD and Lonely Whale’s 52HZ announce the addition of industry-leading professionals to the judging panel for the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, a material science competition incentivizing the creative development and adoption of alternatives to thin-film plastic. With more than 170 applications already in progress from 39 countries and six continents, the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize also announces critically important early adopters that have committed to testing and implementing the winning innovations to facilitate industry adoption and scaling of these novel materials.

Joining Don Cheadle, Livia Firth, Stella McCartney and an incredible lineup of judges on the panel are: Ellen Jackowski, Chief Impact Officer and Head of Sustainable Impact at HP Inc., James Andrews, Founder of Authenticated Ventures, John John Florence, two-time World Champion Surfer and Olympian, and Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Fashion Designers America. The Prize will benefit from the wealth of knowledge these judges carry within the fashion, tech, sports and innovation spaces. In addition, the Prize has welcomed two new Scientific and Technical Advisory Board members; Tom Bebien of Plastic Odyssey and Andy Johnson of ROQ.US.

To help scale and implement the winning thin-film plastic alternatives in the market, TOM FORD International, Stella McCartney, Dell Technologies, GoSili, HP Inc, Herman Miller, Imperial Dade, LeClub and ROQ are committing to implement a trial utilizing these sustainable materials for their packaging solutions. Such trials will help prize competitors develop industry partnerships and validate their materials; should these materials meet the specifications of each company, these companies will evaluate opportunities to purchase and incorporate the material across their supply chains.

Submissions are open now through October 24th for inventors, entrepreneurs and those invested in the fight against plastic pollution to accelerate meaningful innovation around a replacement for thin-film plastic. Competition finalists will be selected in early 2022, with winners announced in early 2023. TOM FORD and 52HZ are putting forward a prize purse of more than $1 million, and are dedicating three years of accelerator services to competition winners after they are selected. By bringing investors, major brands and other partners together in an action-focused coalition, the Plastic Innovation Prize will offer dedicated support to help finalists reach scale and market adoption by 2025, creating an inflection point in the fight against plastic pollution.

Today, thin-film plastic makes up 46% of the approximately 14 million metric tons of plastic that sits on the ocean floor and is virtually impossible to extract. Just two products—single-use resealable sandwich storage bags and plastic polybags used by the fashion industry—represent over 300 billion thin-film plastic bags disposed of annually. The TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize will enable competition finalists and adopters to bring sustainable alternatives to thin-film plastic to market so the ocean does not continue to pay the price of these products. Learn more about submission guidelines and prize rules at

“Collaborating with awesome partners like Lonely Whale is imperative to the fabric of our mission to encourage, inspire, and reinforce sustainability in the apparel industry as a whole. ROQ along with our beta fulfillment partners Bella+Canvas and HIT Promotional Products are honored by the opportunity to play a part in the collective solution.” – Ross Hunter, President of ROQ.US “With todays’ announcement we are more confident than ever that the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize will be successful beyond our initial expectations,” said Dr. Dune Ives, Lonely Whale CEO. “The addition of these incredible judges, advisors and companies willing to test the finalists’s products with the intent to purchase those materials post competition, increases the confidence of potential applicants as well as future investors.”

“The time for sustainable change in plastic packaging is now and we must take steps to implement the solutions. Through partnerships, challenges, science and curiosity we push each other to innovate and hold each other accountable to the world around us. We are excited to support the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation finalists and cannot wait to see what the future holds to replace plastic pollution.” – Stacey Feeley, CEO GoSili, Inc

“The development of new, more sustainable materials like those generated by the Prize is key to achieving our goal of 75% product and packaging circularity by 2030,” said Ellen Jackowski, Chief Impact Officer and Head of Sustainable Impact, HP Inc. “The Prize not only incentivizes extraordinary, science-based innovation—it provides a path to replace thin-film plastic and scale viable alternatives that will help protect our planet.”

“Being someone that spends the majority of time in the ocean, plastic waste pollution hits very close to home. I am excited to join the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize and look forward to working alongside such great and bright people to help combat this insurmountable issue. Thank you to the Plastic Prize, Lonely Whale and everyone involved for incentivizing unique thought and needed change.” – John John Florence, two-time world champion surfer and Olympian

“The support provided through the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize will prove vital to accelerating safe material alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that are so detrimental to the ocean, the land, and our climate. If we are to reach our climate and waste ambition, we need new packaging solutions now.” – Steven Kolb, Chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America

The solution to plastic waste is out there, and it’s up to companies like ours to not only find alternatives but to scale them for maximum environmental impact,” said Page Motes, Global Head of Corporate Sustainability at Dell Technologies. “We’re so excited to see the range of ideas presented by the finalists and look forward to trialling their solutions to help reach our 2030 sustainability goals”

“Innovation drives change in the marketplace. We look forward to supporting the finalists of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize in their quest to reimagine plastic packaging.” – Jason Tillis, President of Imperial Dade

“We believe that good design is purposeful – it solves problems. To come up with something that has a certain type of content is the easy thing. To design something that meets the customer’s needs and helps solve the problem of plastic waste is difficult. We are excited to be a part of this effort and look forward to supporting those that come forward with solution-oriented designs” – Bob Teasley, Director New Product Development, Supply Management at Herman Miller

About 52HZ

52HZ is a creative marketing agency that donates 100% of its profits to Lonely Whale. This first of its kind model powers Lonely Whale’s impact-driven campaigns and programs while it creates transformational impact within and across its client’s brands and industries. Led by Lonely Whale’s Co-Founder and Managing Director Lucy Sumner, Chief Creative Officer Harry Bernstein, and CEO Dune Ives, 52HZ combines the power of storytelling with strategic communications and sustained campaigns to inspire systemic behavior and market change. 52HZ’s initial projects include the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, the sustainable re-launch of modern furniture company Herman Miller’s iconic Aeron chair; working with HP, Inc and Ocean Heroes Network to create the quarterly youth-led magazine OH-WAKE; and the launch of Leonardo Di Caprio’s organization, Re:wild, which subsequently raised $5B for nature-based solutions.


Tom Ford was born in Austin, Texas prior to moving to New York City and Paris to study design. In 1990, Ford joined Gucci as the company’s chief womenswear designer before becoming Creative Director in 1994, ultimately becoming vice-chairman. Under Ford’s leadership, Gucci became one of the largest and most profitable luxury brands in the world, with sales increasing from 230 million dollars in 1994 to 3 billion dollars in 2003. Ford resigned from his post in 2004 and announced the creation of TOM FORD in April 2005. Today, the brand offers a complete collection of Menswear, Womenswear, Accessories, Eyewear, Beauty and most recently Underwear and Timepieces. Presently there are over 100 freestanding TOM FORD stores and shop-in-shops in locations around the world. In addition to his achievements within the fashion industry, Ford is also an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and film director.

Tom Ford has redefined luxury. He is a visionary and his success has been recognized by a number of international awards, highlighted by winning seven Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards, including their prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and The Menswear Designer of the Year in 2015. In 2019, Mr. Ford took over as Chairman of the CFDA. Ford currently lives in Los Angeles.

# # # For more information on how to #UNITETogether, please click here. We thank you for the opportunity to support these worthy and crucial causes with you as #YourPartnerInPrint!




Early on, we made a conscious decision to eradicate the word "customer" from our vocabulary. ROQ.US has no customers -- we only do business with Partners.

A customer is someone on one end of a transaction, but a Partner is a companion. A Partner is an ally.


A Partner is a trusted friend who is invested in the journey with you. That long-term camaraderie is what we aim to provide for our Partners.

As we continue to roll out the green carpet for you, we're honored to introduce you to our current roster of ROQ.US Referral Partners. These industry leaders are valued ROQ.US family members as You are and we're excited to bring You together with them to reinforce the product/service muscle behind your operation.

Distributing Partners

Artboard 11.png
Artboard 7.png
Artboard 8.png
Artboard 6.png
Artboard 9.png
Artboard 10.png
bottom of page